Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, August 30, 2009

Warrior football is about to start

It is almost that time again. The eight-month depression is almost over. Get ready, get out the tailgate gear, purchase those tickets and get those lungs in shape. It's time for ... Warrior football!

We want to wish Coach McMackin, the other coaches, the players, the supporters behind the scenes, Na Koa and all the fans a great upcoming season.

Recently, Coach McMackin stated he would enjoy seeing the fans participate in doing a canoe paddle motion while the team enters the field to the “;Hawaii Five-O”; theme. Watch the cheerleaders and give it a go. Let's start something new this year.

Beat Boise. All we want for Christmas is a bowl game.

Michael and Taide LeHouck
Ewa Beach

Sexist news coverage of events obnoxious

We recently had two examples of media bias in the national news, ranging from the invidious to the ridiculous.

The first example was the pundit coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks in response to a Congolese student's question as to what her husband thought of a Chinese trade deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her response that she was the secretary of state, not her husband, was appropriate and mild. The misunderstanding was rectified with a handshake later on. It certainly did not warrant the level of coverage that it received on the TV news. The focus of her trip was the gender-based violence used as a tool of war that continues today in the Congo. Where was the coverage of the horrific plight of African women raped and tortured with impunity?

Then there was the ridiculous coverage of the first lady's shorts, which were neither short nor inappropriate for a summer vacation in the Grand Canyon. This inane news item reduced this powerful and gracious woman to a fashion icon. Where was the coverage of the issues she supports: help for military families, helping working women balance career and family and encouraging national service?

Ann S. Freed

A call to get rid of public schools

I must congratulate Garrett Toguchi, the chairman of the state Board of Education, for his impeccable timing. His Aug. 26 letter, “;Public school system is not top-heavy”; said those who challenge the status quo need to “;prove how the alternative governance system would improve student achievement.”; His letter was printed on the same day that the Hawaii SAT scores came out, showing a massive failure of public education compared to private and religious schools.

The combined average SAT scores for public schools: 1,369, far below both private secular schools (1,646 combined) and private religious schools (1,569 combined).

The answer should be obvious: Do away with public schools entirely, and give schoolchildren from low-income families a cash grant to spend at the private school of their choice.

How much failure will it take before voters decide to quit subsidizing the appalling failure of public education?

Jim Henshaw

Being homeless is a situation, not a crime

While we share Jim Cone's frustration regarding conditions at Crane Park in Kaimuki and some other parks (”;Get homeless away from parks,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Aug. 26), he needs to understand that it is not a crime to be poor or homeless.

“;Destitute”; people, as he described them, have as much right to use public parks as anyone else who is not violating any laws, and Mr. Cone's letter did not describe any specific unlawful conduct. If he or anyone else witnesses illegal activity in a park or elsewhere, the responsible thing to do is to call the Honolulu Police Department at 911 immediately.

We are certainly working on strategies to improve the situation at the park, without violating anyone's rights. Mr. Cone suggested the park be closed; actually, the park is indeed closed at night, and no one is allowed to camp there. Park employees and police closely monitor the situation, and we are working together to ensure public safety, improve conditions and provide assistance to those in need.

Lester K.C. Chang
Director, city Department of Parks and Recreation




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